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Ratzinger says anti-globalisation violence harms poor

Although Catholics have the "just moral duty" to discuss questions relating to economic development, such as those arising from the G8 summit held recently in Genoa, "destruction and terror are not the appropriate means," Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said.

The cardinal, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained this position on Saturday when he addressed the Ambrosetti Economic Forum, held in Cernobbio, Italy.

Cardinal Ratzinger referred to the violent protests of anti-globalisation groups during the G8 Genoa summit, which ended on 22 July with the death of a young protester and a huge bill for damages and destruction.

"As regards the anti-globalisation movement and its objectives, it is necessary to distinguish the moral diagnosis from the means of implementation," the cardinal said.

At the moral level, it is right "that rich countries fulfill their responsibility to the Third World, and that they not possess riches just for themselves, but that they consider wealth as a responsibility for others," Cardinal Ratzinger added.

In speaking about the means for implementing this justice, the cardinal rejected all forms of violence: "There are elements in these protests that use a moral excuse to justify action that in no way is moral."